Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Life is weird.

I've been sadder than I ever have in my life over the past months, and I suppose that those kinds of feelings are just part of growing up. It's like the idea that 'good' is defined by the very existence of 'bad'; you have to know what it's like to be broken in order to appreciate being whole again.

Guilt is a horrible, horrible thing to feel. It sucks to know that you hurt somebody and not be able to do anything about it. It is not at all fun to simultaneously feel like crap and know that you really don't have a lot to complain about. And I am constantly in that battle with myself of feeling bad, or sad, or angry, or anything negative, and also feeling guilty about it because honestly, my hardships are trivial compared with most.

But they're still my hardships.

And because they existed, and were hard to get through, the whole getting through them part is pretty damn amazing.

Because I finally feel like I'm through. Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of wonderful, fun memories from this past semester. I felt happiness. There was just lingering negativity that kept me from defining myself as a happy person, overall.

And although the culmination of a low point in my life coincides with a new person (!!), I don't want to imply that it took another person to 'heal' me. Rather, I think that I had to be healed independently before I was ready to meet someone new. So the events are related, but still separate.

I believe 100% that a person has to be able to okay with alone-ness, even if it's just for a portion of your life (and for most it will be). I used to let someone else define me. I let another person integrate themselves into my identity and didn't realize my mistake until they were gone.

Now, I know who I am. At least, I have a better idea. And I am ready to let the past go, finally, completely. I am ready to start something new, and maybe be someone new. I still have moments of weakness, and my past is an important part of me, but the present is so much better.

Saturday, August 24, 2013


I have been feeling down for a while. It's not because of any one thing, and it's not constant unhappiness either. I guess I would describe it as a general feeling of insecurity. Yes, duh, I'm a young person and I feel insecure. I know that's not unique. And I wouldn't be writing about this if it was just going to be a list of complaints or angsty whining. Bear with me!

I discovered that I let other people have more of an influence on my happiness that they deserve. All of my feelings of "not good enough" - not attractive enough, not talented enough, not outgoing enough, etc. - are self-inflicted. I get to choose whether or not to be happy. Happiness, and confidence, doesn't come from a collected supply of compliments and approval. It comes from knowing that you deserve to be happy. It's only when you have a sense of well-being that is independent of others that you can find people to share in that happiness, rather than depending on them to provide it.

I may be shy before you get to know me and seem boring on the outside. I may not always be comfortable with my body. I can't dance worth anything and I don't really like to drink.
I may not be that small, cutesy girl who laughs at all of your jokes and flirts by playing hard to get or finding stupid reasons to touch you.

But all of that is okay with me.

It's okay because I'm happy being me. I like that I set high standards for myself. I like that my closest friends know that I'm an absolute dork. I like how I look - might as well, because I can't change it. I like being sarcastic. I like that I'm cautious with my words and decisions, and think things through.
And I like that I've finally realized I should not and will not change myself to fit someone else's picture of the ideal girl.
Most of all, I like that when I feel something, I really feel it. Because I know that when I finally find what I'm looking for, I'm going to give everything I have. I don't do emotions half-heartedley. And I know I have a lot to offer.

I've wished in the past that I wasn't so emotional, because I know what it feels like to pour every last bit of your heart into somebody, and you think it's going to last forever. And then it doesn't, because life changes. It sucks. It sucks to lose that security and the warm feeling in your chest of knowing you're not alone. It sucks to realize that loving somebody is a risk, and you don't always "win".
But I know now that the risk is so worth it. I'm not going to pretend I have a lot of life experiences or wisdom, but I do not for one second regret who I have let into my life. I have been incredibly lucky, and for the sake of keeping things private, that's all I'll say.

I'm not a writer, so I'm sorry if this doesn't make much sense or is hard to follow. It's kind of a conglomeration of thoughts that have been slowly forming into coherent ideas for a while, but a lot of it is from amazing advice I've been given. I don't know what I did to deserve such supportive, genuine friends, but I cannot even put into words how much they mean to me.

I know I'm not going to change overnight. I'll have sad days, and times when I don't feel confident. Everyone does. Hopefully, though, I will remember that those bad feelings don't last. I was created with a distinct identity, and you know what? Nobody is ever really alone, if they know where to look.

Isaiah 40:31

but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

If I can make friends, so can you!

I wanted to tweet this thought, but couldn't condense it to fit in the character limit. Then I remembered I have a blog.

Before I spill my thoughts out in text form, I'll give a little bit of context. I am currently at a music program called Aria in Mount Holyoke College in Massachussetts. Basically, it's 10 days of flute classes, lessons, and practice time. I like to think of it as flute immersion.

Anyway, I came here not knowing anybody, which is a big deal for me, as pathetic as that might sound. I can't tell you how many summer camps I've skipped out on because I didn't want to go alone. But, I decided I'm a big girl now and if I can handle college, this isn't a big deal.

Hello, social anxiety.

Okay, so it's really not that bad. I think I'm pretty decent at being friendly and pursuing conversation. I'm not the most talkative person ever, but I will make a devoted effort to prevent awkward silences, because obviously everyone hates those. But I think it's pretty common for the initial conversations with a new acquaintance to be pretty awkward. I don't know what to say after asking where you're from and where you go to school, and neither do you, so sporadic comments about the food and weather ensue.

These are actual things I've said during mealtime conversations (but not all at once, thankfully):
"Oh my gosh, I love soft cookies. It's really humid here. I think I would die without my fan. I'm so glad they had grapes today. Did you notice it rained earlier? Seriously, this cookie is really soft. You should try one."

I don't think I can stress how much I hate this part of meeting new people. You know what's great though? That moment when you finally break through the uncomfortable small-talk and hit on a topic that both people can talk about. I think stories are really helpful. Someone telling a really interesting or even embarrassing story can break the ice much better than discussing the benefits of Mozart (I know this from experience).

I guess my point it to say that making new friends is hard and a little painful (at least for me), but then it's really nice to have those new friends.

More later!

Side note: I have conflicting thoughts about blogs, because by nature they're a little narcissistic - I'm writing about myself and hoping people will read it. It's a little self-centered. But, we're all at least a little self-centered, or at least very self-aware. So I decided that it's okay for me to write (a little excessively at times) about myself on the internet, because I'm not forcing anyone to read it, and maybe it might even be a little interesting or entertaining to someone. Also, I don't really want to bug my friends constantly with journal entry accounts of my day and random philosophical thoughts, so this is a good place to put that stuff.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Reasons why my life is awkward.

These were surprisingly fun for me to think of, so I hope you enjoy learning about my life in unnecessary detail!

  • I routinely mishear song lyrics, so I usually just jokingly sing nonsense rather than risk actually trying and being wrong.
  • I am extremely uncomfortable sitting cross-legged. I feel like literally the entire world loves sitting like this, but it hurts my feet, and I just don't really bend that way.
  • My face has the lovely habit of turning red as a result of any array of emotions, not just embarrassment.
  • One time after getting my eyes dilated, I had to fill out paperwork and didn't want to admit that the text looked like a grey swirly blob, so I spent ten minutes holding it at varying distances from my face and squinting until I could decipher everything.
  • I once owned two tiny African dwarf frogs that ended up mating. I thought they were just hugging.
  • I have a queen-sized quilt on my full-sized bed. This one sounds stupid but it is so awkward. There is constantly way to much fabric around my face. But I stubbornly endure because the quilt is from Anthropologie and I love it.
  • To this day, I do not know the proper way to hold a dog or cat. Pets usually like me until I try to pick them up. :(
  • I'm extremely self-conscious about my toes. I don't even know why, because objectively, they're pretty normal, but please do not look at them!
  • I'm one of those drivers that simultaneously lurches forward and waves people through at a stop sign.
  • Sometimes I spend so long thinking of a witty response that it creates an uncomfortable silence, and the other person usually leaves.
  • I've twisted/injured my ankles doing completely lame things: falling off a curb, jumping on a trampoline (that one's slightly more exciting), and most recently, accidentally kicking the coffee table at a wrong angle.
  • I've broken my wrist because I fell during marching practice. In my defense, we were marching backwards at an absurdly fast tempo.
  • After I broke my wrist, I wanted a white cast, but the doctor accidentally gave me glow-in-the-dark. Cue teenage self-conscious shame spiral.
  • I consistently forget to return the question when someone asks, "How are you?"

Photos like this exist. I am a giraffe.
That's my friend Sarah, and she looks especially beautiful next who-knows-what-face-I'm-making.

I could probably think of more, but you get the picture! 
(you also get a literal picture...puns...)


Monday, July 1, 2013

Sweat is good, sometimes.

One thing you should know about me is that I’m not an athletic person.

The only sport I participated in as a child was swimming. I liked it because the water is cold so you don’t get all hot and sweaty.

Being tall and fairly slender my whole life, strangers always assumed I played volleyball (or basketball, but that didn’t get suggested nearly as much because, let’s face it, I am extremely white). Whenever I would admit I didn’t really play any sports, people would usually sigh and shake their head a little, like it was such a shame that my height was being put to waste. These encounters got even more entertaining once I joined band in middle school, because then I could say, “I’m not in sports, but I play the flute!”

I was so anti-athletic that I took Spanish classes in 7th grade because it would exempt me from PE.

I also have exercise-induced asthma, so that, combined with my rising obsession with music, pretty much nixed swimming by around the beginning of high school.

Anyway, I’m telling you all of this to say that today, something really monumental happened in my life: I went running.

It’s not like I’ve never worked out before. In fact, for a full 3 months last year, I did the elliptical for 30 minutes a day pretty faithfully. (You don’t have to tell me that half an hour on an elliptical barely counts as a workout, but it’s better than nothing, right?)
However, elliptical running does not in any way, shape or form equal real-life, outdoor running.

When I first left my house and got on the street, I felt pretty good. It was a nice morning and I had my cool new black athletics pants on (and new shoes!).
“This isn’t so bad! Look, cars that don’t know me, I’m running! I am being a healthy, contributing member of society!”
Fast forward to about a minute later…
I got a cramp in my side and could no longer breathe, soooo I decided to walk for a little bit.
This process continued: short stretch of running, then walk until my throat stopped feeling like someone took a cheese grater to it.

All in all, I “ran” about 2 miles, at a very embarrassingly slow pace. It also took me a full half hour of sitting to recover my breath.
But, I’m really proud of myself! I did something that was completely new to me, and I survived to write about it on the internet.
Maybe I’ll try again on Wednesday. :)

Also, I discovered that the 80's Pop workout station on Pandora is awesome! But I only found this out after I was done running. You Make My Dreams is now stuck in my head for the day.